Friday, April 29, 2011

11 Iranian Christians to stand trial for ‘activities against the order’

Eleven members of the Church of Iran are to stand trial in the Revolutionary Tribunal of Bandar-Anzali for “activities against the Order,” and for drinking alcohol, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The charges relate to their involvement in a house church, and to taking communion wine.

The Christians on trial include:

  • Pastor Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and his wife Anahita Khademi
  • Mahmoud Khosh-Hal and his wife Hava Saadetmend
  • Fatemah Modir-Nouri
  • Mehrdad Habibzade
  • Milad Radef
  • Behzad Taalipas
  • Amir Goldoust, his sister Mina Goldoust and his grandmother Zainab Bahremend

Please pray for these individuals today!

There has been an increase in official rhetoric against evangelical Christians, which has been accompanied by a wave of arrests.

On January 4, Morteza Tamadon, the governor of Tehran, called the evangelical movement “a false, deviant and corrupt sect…placing themselves within the religion of Islam like a parasite and under the cover of Christianity.”

So far, the arrests of 254 Christians in 33 cities from June 2010 and February 2011 have been confirmed.  However, the actual number of arrests is thought to be far higher.

The blasphemy trial of six other members of the Church of Iran was adjourned on April 5 to allow prosecutors more time to gather evidence, and postponed again on April 13 in order to allow prosecutors to seek the assistance of Iran’s traditional churches in determining their guilt. Their legal team is optimistic that all charges relating the blasphemy trial, and to a one-year sentence for Crimes Against the Islamic Order handed down at an earlier trial, will be overturned on appeal.

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